Sunday, February 24, 2013

Hypothermic Half Marathon 2013

Everything is moving so fast
I am unlimited
Everything is moving so fast
I am unlimited

Everything is Moving So Fast, Great Lake Swimmers, 
from the album Lost Channels

Egads, what a smashing day for a run, not a  PB smashing day, but smashing nevertheless.     I gave it my all and I had nothing left when I crossed the line.  The course burned it all up and it was good... like it should.

At mile 11 my watch showed 18 minutes remained for a sub-two hour.  I turned to the young couple following me and told them we had to scoot in at an 8:45 pace if we were to see the south end of a two hour race.  One mile across open tall grass prairie with full-frontal wind and another through the bush.  We walked the big hill to conserve energy. I mumbled through frozen lips that it would be hard and then off again.

Legs pumping, heart pounding, lungs burning, face ablaze in focus, mind screaming. We rounded that last little 90 degree turn, over the log bridge, toward the line.  An arm flew up and a voice yelled.. this way Mike, I veered back on course toward the shoot (I would have missed it entirely).  A glance at the clock, a moment of disappointment.. 2 hours, 30 seconds.  

A lovely volunteer holds me steady and says good job and places a very pretty medal around my neck.  I turned to the couple following me, and apologized for not getting the the sub-two that I had promised.  They smiled, a beautiful young smile... a pretty face and a kind voice.. all bundled up, chest heaving... "that's alright" she said... "it's a PB for me" and laughed an infectious laugh.  We shook hands and parted.

Never to be seen again.

Two hour and 30 seconds of running makes for a lot of thinking.  Thoughts zoom in and out of focus.  Can't seem to sustain thought for more than several consecutive seconds. They're all scattered and vibrant with colour and texture... like an old tv with rabbit ears... signals fade in and fade out.... moments of clarity, moments of fuzz...constantly changing the channel, seeking reception, reception to my soul, to my heart, searching for vibes, none found, but I still search, hoping... I run to get out of my head and into my heart

Good thoughts of my son.. leaving for Waterloo Ontario University on a full scholarship, Department of Mathematics... pride.. intense swelling pride. I savour these thoughts and let them soak into my brain causing shivers of euphoria.  He's had a hard year so this is good for his spirit.

Thoughts of Bob about 3 minutes behind me in mukluks... how can he possibly be running 13 miles after just last week running 21 hours and tying for 7th place in the Actif Epica 130 kilometer ultra marathon?  Grit and spirit, that's Bob.. with a large side of humility.

Thoughts of times that have passed and times that await.

Thoughts of work... erase, reboot, defrag... thoughts gone!

Thoughts of running goals and commitments.  Ottawa Full Marathon, May 26, training starts tomorrow... no rest for the unsettled.

Thoughts that cause joy.

Thoughts that cause sadness.

Thoughts that cause frustration.

Thoughts that search for meaning.

Thoughts that propel and give hope.

Thoughts void of answers.

Just thoughts.

Well friends.. especially the young man who approached me at breakfast this morning and asked if I was Mike from See Mike Run and then proceed to compliment the content... I wish you light feet and clear thoughts.  You are unlimited.

It's a smashing day to be alive.


* from a Spoken Word poet whose name escapes me momentarily.  Come back for updated information.   


Unknown said...


It was great meeting you today. Ruben and I enjoy your blogs and meeting you in person, you are exactly how I imagined you would be. I will be entering the TEd's Literacy Run for this October and hopefully we will cross paths again.


Unknown said...

Hello Mike,

I was the young man that approached you. It was great meeting you and like Sean said, we enjoy your blogs. Count me in for the Ted's Literacy Run this October too.

I've made the last line a mantra in my training journal and will be for my runs when I'm in need of focus. "Light feet and clear thoughts. I am unlimited."


Unknown said...

Thanks Mike for everything that you are and continue to be. You are a major inspiration in my running and my writing. I enjoy your posts just as much as the first time I read one, so long ago.
The run was hard but it was also a lot of fun, I think my smile froze in place (I know my beard was a frosty mess for sure) as I was ripping it up over the fields for the finish.
Yes those mukluks have served me well with almost 100km of new runs on them this week alone (including half of Epica).
Please Mike continue to write and inspire, thanks again for everything.